The heat wave in Delhi and the persistent power cuts had an ugly fallout on Monday with leaders of the Delhi Congress locking up the Chief Secretary and other bureaucrats in a meeting room at the Delhi Secretariat for nearly two hours.
Sitting and former Congress MLAs, led by Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, stormed the conference room at the Secretariat around 12.30 pm. Former MLA Mukesh Sharma announced to the officials present in the room that Congress workers had locked the room from outside.
According to sources, Chief Secretary S K Shrivastava had to call several officials at the Secretariat to find keys to the conference room, a process that took about 40 minutes. Other officials who were locked in along with him were Urban Development Secretary Rajendra Kumar and Power Secretary Arun Goyal. The officials had come there to discuss the power situation with Congress leaders.
Delhi Congress Lovely said, “We had gone there for a meeting with the officials to discuss the worsening power situation in Delhi. But when officials told us that there was no problem and that the supply situation was normal in Delhi, we were compelled to announce a lock-in.”
The leaders said the Chief Secretary and the other officials were later “allowed” to go to Shrivastava’s office, where they were locked up again. “We ended the agitation after getting a written assurance that the power situation would be resolved at the earliest,” Lovely said.
“We called off our agitation after the L-G’s office intervened. Around 2.30 pm, the UD secretary assured us that the government was doing its best to restore power supply in Delhi. If the situation does not improve within the next 48 hours, we will storm the L-G’s office, the BSES office in Nehru Place and the Union Power minister’s office,” a senior DPCC leader told Newsline.
Congress leaders said they had come prepared to go to jail on Monday, and after a truce call, “a meeting has been scheduled with the L-G on Tuesday”.
“We will be out on the roads to protest if the situation does not improve in the next two days,” Sharma said.
Though power secretary Arun Goyal said the situation in Delhi was “much better” on Monday, he refused to comment about being locked-up by Congress leaders.